An organizer of Valérie Plante’s party reprimanded

A City of Montreal employee has violated its code of ethics by working for Mayor Valérie Plante’s political party, our Bureau of Investigations has learned.

• Also read: Discomfort with F1 in Valérie Plante’s party

Laurent Richer-Beaulieu, who works in the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district, was the subject of an internal investigation this winter for taking part in “partisan activities” prohibited under the city’s code of ethics.

According to our information, Mr. Richer-Beaulieu was slapped on the knuckles for volunteering for Projet Montréal during the judicial recount of the election results last November in the Tétreaultville area.

At the same time, he was responsible for the support of elected officials.

A few weeks earlier, he had taken time off to work on the campaign for Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve Mayor Pierre Lessard-Blais’s team, also from Projet Montréal.

Despite a report by the city’s Controller-General on his partisan activities, presented this spring, Mr. Richer-Beaulieu has seen no change in his duties. He is still responsible for bridging the gap between civil service and elected officials, including the two opposition members Ensemble Montréal, which causes some unease.

“Having politicized employees makes it very difficult to work. There is no relationship of trust with the employees who are supposed to support us,” says Julien Hénault-Ratelle, Tétreaultville District Councilor.

Her colleague in Louis-Riel, Alba Stella Zúñiga Ramos, believes that this situation makes her work as elected representative “very complex”, especially to adequately respond to citizens’ requests.

Communication forbidden

According to our information, the climate in the district has been tense for months.

He is seen here in 2017 going door-to-door with the current mayor of Rosemont, François Limoges.

Acquired from Facebook

He is seen here in 2017 going door-to-door with the current mayor of Rosemont, François Limoges.

The two elected members of the opposition state that Mayor Lessard-Blais has banned them from communicating with officials, except for auxiliaries to elected officials.

“Our questions are filtered by this team [avec M. Richer-Beaulieu, NDLR]”, says Zuniga Ramos. They always come back to us verbally and sometimes they refuse to answer us.

Contacted by our investigative agency, Mr Richer-Beaulieu claims to have followed the recommendations of his manager and his human resources department before taking unpaid leave to campaign.

However, he did not want to answer our question about his participation in the judicial recount.

“If [ma] situation made a chosen person uncomfortable, they never told me personally. For four years I have performed my duties with integrity and loyalty to the city,” he said in a written statement.

No use, so the party

For her part, Mayor Lessard-Blais’s chief of staff, Marie Depelteau-Paquette, judges that the issue has been closed since the inspector’s report.

“He is an extremely competent employee. The district director did not recommend that I fire him or change his responsibilities. I understand that [les élus de l’opposition] don’t trust me, but they don’t trust me more,” says the former general manager of Projet Montréal.

Mme Depelteau-Paquette asserts that centralizing information is a “matter of efficiency” and that there is “no filter”.

“This has been the case since 2018 to avoid asking the same questions too often to the different directorates,” she says.

Leave a Comment